A bicyclist, 22-year-old Eric Michael Hunt, was killed in Boston yesterday in a crash involving an MBTA bus. While the investigation is ongoing, and we do not know the cause or circumstances of this crash, we do know that the intersection where the crash occurred is a mess, with unprotected Green Line tracks in the road, narrow lanes overlapping the tracks, heavy turning traffic, poor sightlines, and lots of on-street parking. And there are lots of bicyclists in the area. In fact, there is a bicyclist in the middle of the intersection in Google Streetview, showing exactly the dangers faced by bikers at that location. We’ve contacted the City of Boston to open a conversation about that intersection.
Another thing we know is that bus drivers do not always seem to place the highest priority on bicyclist safety, as any biker knows who has been passed too closely and then cut off as the bus swerves to the curb. We think the T needs to have a much stronger program to educate bus drivers how to safely interact with bicyclists, and we’ve contacted the T’s new general manager Richard Davey to urge him to take action (and we offered our assistance to help him do so).
While crashes do happen, when they are caused by bad roads or bad decisions this should be unacceptable to everyone, and we need to make sure that the City of Boston and the MBTA (and more broadly, the Commonwealth, all the municipalities, and all the transit agencies) do more to prevent these tragedies.
Our best wishes go out to Eric’s family we will keep you in our thoughts during this trying time.